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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
October 1, 1863


Wheeling Daily Register
October 3, 1863

THE GRAFTON CAUCUS A FIZZLE.

The Convention called to assemble at Grafton on Thursday, the 1st inst., was a perfect fizzle. Notwithstanding the leading wire-workers in Wheeling had announced through their organ and by letters that a Convention would be held at Grafton to nominate a candidate for Congress from the Second District, and the eight-by-ten hebdomadal at Fairmont had noised the fame thereof abroad, the whole movement proved a miserable farce.

Early in the morning we sallied round the town, hoping to see some of the delegates and ascertain at what hour the assembly would come to order. We found several members of the Legislature – and among others the distinguished “member” from Fairmont, who has the honor of keeping door for the Senate. We presume this “member” was sent by the Wheeling clique in order that the quorum of the Senate would not be diminished.

Ten o’clock arrived, and no Convention. The Burdettites were growing desperate – while the Brownites were eager for the fray. A Morgantown worthy was on hand distributing “Extras” about “Billy my boy” – a school-boy article, no doubt penned by the same Wheelingite who wrote the card against B. H. Smith, Esq., which appeared in the aforesaid hebdomadal during the Senatorial campaign. The Western bound train made its appearance, and after its departure several “Burdetts” were found to be no est. A grand review of forces was had, when the Burdettites discovered they had been “weighed in the balance and found wanting,” and concluded to adjourn till after dinner.

Immediately after the repast, bushwhacking was begun, by the “infernals.” – Brown was denounced as a traitor; “extras” were thrown to the breeze; and a desperate attempt was made to drive in the pickets of the undaunted Brownites, but it all proved of no avail. The next move of the “Burdetters” was to slip from the crowd and call a meeting. When they discovered their movements were watched, the project was abandoned, and the field given up as lost.

With the four o’clock train left another batch of Conventioners, and the few that remained took to the “flowin’ hole” in order to drown their sorrows. One after another was “laid out,” including the “extra” man, and before the hour for tea had arrived the Brown men found themselves complete victors, and were awaiting the flag of truce from the opposition.

So the great Convention – the assembly of the “simon-pures” -- the loyal men of the Second District -- i. e., the members of the Legislature, including the “door keeper,” – whose names were attached to the call for the Convention, which appeared a week or two since – proved a miserable failure.

Would it not be well for the Fairmont tool to come to our city for further instructions before he issues another “extra” or calls another Convention?


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: October 1863

West Virginia Archives and History